ThermoLab BADA ReviewRHKCommander959 - September 28, 2009
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With the heat sink removed from the packaging we find it well protected by a sealed plastic bag. Tearing it off shows that the BADA sits well above the motherboard, its overall foot print shouldn't interfere with nearby components on the motherboard but if the size does come within range, the height may be able to bring it over the components which pose a problem. With the MSI Platinum X58 board the BADA heat sink had no problem with spacing or clearance. The fan covers most of the fins and the dead space behind the hub of the fan isn't very big so performance shouldn't take too big of a hit. The fan is held in place by rubber mounts that are attached through slits in the top and bottom smaller fins, and they help to absorb some of the vibration from the fan. The three copper heat pipes have direct contact with the CPU IHS and should theoretically boost the cooling performance greatly. The fan is a Protechnic Electric Co. Ltd 12V 0.14A fan - the specifications aren't available as their website is down, but with such low amperage this fan wont be too loud. The fin width is staggered with the wider fins along the wider part of the fan and the smaller at the top and bottom where the fan is also smaller. The cable is not sleeved but is twisted to help keep the four wires somewhat organized and bundled together.
The side view gives a good glimpse of how the heat pipes are spread out - the angle and spread allow the heat passed through the pipes to dissipate better through the fins. The back view shows clearly that the heat pipes aren't staggered like they are in the BARAM cooler from the same company ThermoLabs. The base is pretty thick aluminum - it helps transfer heat from the IHS that the copper heat pipes do not cover as well as serve to attach the mounting arms that allow the heat sink to be mounted to a motherboard.
The top view of the heat sink shows an interesting design that at first look reminded me of a Sauropodomorpha dinosaur (think of a Brachiosaurus). The design wraps around the outer heat pipes that protrude through the last fins. ThermoLab BADA is stamped in the center; the last fin holds the rubber fan mounts in the clipped fins from sliding out. The bottom shows a similar fin as the top one and also serves to keep the fan mounts in place. The base of the heat sink is lapped and straight, a notch on the top and bottom of the base grip the mounting arms that are then bolted to the base through the threaded holes.
An angled shot shows the petite 92mm fan sitting well against the heat sink. The fan has four wires for PWM function and they are twisted together to keep them bundled together. The fan impeller has a large ThermoLab sticker attached with the same information as the cardboard box that contained the heat sink.
The fan is produced by Protechnic Electric and is made in China. The website is not currently online and so information about this fan is hard to come by. The fan is a 92mm fan with 80mm fan holes and is 25mm deep. The rubber fan mounts sit inside slits cut into the smaller fins atop and at the bottom of the heat sink.
Space was no issue at all inside the test case; there was plenty of room under and around the heat sink with extra slack from the fan wires.
With the heat sink out and installed it is time to test it!